Emerging APAC countries rank higher in digital experience … kind of
By Benjamin Cher August 1, 2016
- What they want is safety, availability and relevance
- Delighted customers willing to share more personal info about themselves
ONE would expect brands in developed economies to be delivering a more satisfying digital experience to their customers, but it is the emerging countries that are scoring higher in this regard, an SAP study has found.
Any conclusion about the findings should however take into account the possibility that consumers in developed economies expect and demand more from the companies they patronise.
The SAP Asia Pacific Japan Digital Experience Report covered 10 countries in Asia Pacific, including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, with over 18,000 respondents from both genders across various age groups.
Respondents were asked about their experience with companies that they had conducted some kind of transaction with over the last 12 months, according to the company. They were asked to rate attributes such as security and availability on a scale of zero to 10.
Across Asia Pacific, security was cited as the top attribute at 63% -- it was also No 1 for South-East Asia (58%) and in Singapore (55%). (Click chart below to enlarge)
“The interesting thing was that this was consistent throughout all of Asia Pacific and South-East Asia – safety and security was No 1 by quite a margin,” SAP Singapore managing director Darren Rushworth told a recent media briefing on the study’s findings in Singapore.
The second highest attribute across Asia Pacific (41%) and South-East Asia (49%) was availability, and it was also the second most important for consumers in Singapore (33%) as well.
The third most important attribute in Asia Pacific (38%) and Singapore (30%) was relevance without infringing privacy, while South-East Asia (46%) valued simplicity third. (Click infographic below to enlarge)
Interestingly, consumers in Singapore ranked security and functionality above personalisation. (Click chart below to enlarge)
“In Singapore, the more functional things are considered more important,” said Rushworth, rather than what marketers would describe as the emotional side.
“It doesn’t mean that it [emotionality] is not important, but they are putting more importance on being safe and secure – that is, they want it to work all the time.
“It is less about ‘me’ and more about the technology and the functional piece,” he added.
The digital experience
To determine the ‘digital experience score’ for the region, as well as the individual countries, SAP used the Net Promoter Score (NPS) method that measured 14 attributes, on a scale of 0 (unsatisfied) to 10 (delighted).
An average of the ratings was then calculated, with each consumer assigned an overall digital experience score between 0 and 10.
Asia Pacific as a whole averaged 3%, with only one-third (35%) delighted with the digital experience provided by brands in the region, and one-third (32%) unsatisfied.
South-East Asia posted a more positive 27%, with 47% delighted and only 20% not satisfied with the digital experience.
When drilling down to the scores in individual countries, a trend emerges, where developed countries posted negative scores for their digital experience while emerging countries posted positive scores.
Indonesia posted a positive score of 34% for digital experience, with 48% being delighted and only 14% unsatisfied by their experience.
As for industry scores, the banking sector (42%) scored the highest overall across all 14 attributes, followed closely by utilities (39%), then consumer retail (30%) and telecommunications (26%).
Malaysia too posted a positive score of 17%, with 43% being delighted and 26% being unsatisfied with their experience.
Malaysians scored consumer retail the highest overall at 25%, followed by banking at 22% and utilities (7%).
Telecommunications scored a neutral result (0%) over the 14 attributes but recorded a negative rating on some attributes, with the sector being at least 13% behind the leading industry, surging to 28% behind for the most important attribute (safe and secure), and 31% behind for responsive and interactive.
The Philippines posted a rosy score of 33%. with 54% being delighted and 21% being unsatisfied with their digital experience.
Banking (48%) delivered the most satisfying digital experience, followed by consumer retail (41%), media and entertainment (36%), utilities (29%), and telecommunications (19%).
Singapore (-7%) posted the only negative score in South-East Asia, where only 25% were delighted and 32% were unsatisfied with their digital experience.
Other developed countries in the report also fared badly, such as Australia (-14%) and Japan (-31%).
In terms of industry, only consumer retail (0%) scored a neutral result, with other sectors scoring a negative result, such as banking (-10%), utilities (-5%) and telecommunications (-12%).
Thailand scored a positive 37% for digital experience, with 53% delighted and 16% unsatisfied with their experience.
Utilities scored the highest at 40%, with banking a close second at 39% and consumer retail nipping at their heels with 39%.
The seeming bias towards a negative digital experience among developed countries suggests a correlation between the maturity of a country and a negative digital experience, according to SAP.
“There is a correlation between the maturity and the experience of the market and the digital experience,” said Rushworth.
“What we’re seeing is that those countries that are better connected and have experience doing more mobile commerce are much harder to please than the emerging markets.
“What we also see in the digital experience score is that there is a cultural flavour to it as well, because the things that are important to you in Singapore, may not be the same important things in other markets,” he added.
My personal data? Take it!
The likelihood of customers disclosing private data increases when they are delighted by the experience, according to the report – they were six times more likely to do so, in fact.
Private data ranges from personal profiles to their main financial institution, education levels and even medical records.
The top three private data Asia Pacific consumers were likely to disclose were buying preferences (55%), education level (53%), and social media usage (49%).
In South-East Asia, the top three were personal profile (50%), health or medical records (46%), and personal finances (44%).
There were no South-East Asia statistics provided to show the likelihood of disclosing when unsatisfied or when delighted.
In Singapore, consumers were eight times more likely to disclose private data when delighted, with the top three types of data they were willing to part away with being education level (47%), buying preferences (46%), and occupation (43%). (Click infographic below to enlarge.)
What about the gap?
Having negative scores means that there is a gap that is not being adequately met today, and that gap should matter to businesses, Rushworth (pic) warned.
“The gap matters – if you are delighted you are 53% more likely to promote that brand.
“If a customer is happy about an experience, more than half will promote that to their friends – and that is important as word-of-mouth is a very powerful way of driving that.
“On the other hand, those unsatisfied with the experience will be unlikely to promote the brand, so the gap impacts the ability of people to promote your brand, and also impacts loyalty,” he added.
Delighted customers are 62% more likely to come back, but only 8% of unsatisfied customers would return.
This translates into more business for every satisfied customer, as referring customers spend more than referred customers, according to Rushworth.
“Customers who are promoters are 50% more likely to spend than referred customers,” he said.
“Also from loyalty, you get 67% more spend from repeat customers – if you are happy with a brand, you are not only likely to go back to that brand but also likely to do more transactions,” he added.
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